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Wrist Fracture

Fractura partis distalis radii (Latin name)

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Fracture in the wrist is frequent and typically occurs after falling on a stretched arm. Pain in the wrist immediately after the fall is a sign of fracture or sprain. On suspicion of breakage, an X-ray is taken. The treatment will usually be a cast for 4 weeks, but surgery may be necessary in case of a complicated fracture.

The wrist is the place where we most often break a bone. It is especially children and old who break the wrist. 

In children and young people, the fracture typically occurs in connection with sports or play where the child or the young falls and lands on a stretched arm. In old people the fracture typically occurs on a slippery path where the old falls and takes off by using the hand. 

Right quickly, there is pain in the wrist, which also raises. In case of complicated fracture, the wrist is skewed. Pressure over the wrist exacerbates the pain. 

If the arm is stretched, the wrist may become sprained or broken. In a sprain, the wrist is sore immediately after the accident and the soreness increases over a few hours. If your wrist is broken, there is pain immediately. It can be very difficult to determine whether the wrist is broken or sprained. In case of a typical medical history with a fall in stretched arm and pain in the wrist, an X-ray should therefore be taken. 

The diagnosis is made by taking an X-ray of the wrist.

What can you do?

Immediately after the accident, take painkillers (paracetamol), place ice bag or similar on your wrist for 20 minutes every hour and hold your arm above the heart's level.


Contact the doctor tomorrow

Always consult your doctor on the same day for typical medical history with a fall in stretched arm and pain in your wrist.


Contact the doctor immediately

In case of suspected breach of the wrist.
The doctor will take an X-ray of the wrist. In most cases the treatment will be a cast for 4 weeks. In complicated cases where the wrist is skewed, it may be necessary to put the wrist in place before a cast is applied.